Every time I do a workshop or presentation, I end with a list of resources— including a list of books. At one of my recent talks, someone asked what other books I would recommend for business owners.

I have a long list on my website, but here is the short list by category.

Social Media

1. “Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business,” by Erik Qualman.

2. “Social Media 2.0” by J.R. Atkins. A cliff notes version of the Big 5 of social media; LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blogging and video.

3. “Inbound Marketing,” by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. A guide to increasing online visibility and engagement.

Starting a Business

1. “Cash Flow Quadrant,” by Robert Kiyosaki. Explains your role as an employee, business owner, self-employed and investor.

2. “eMyth.” by Michael Gerber. “E” is for entrepreneur. Learn how to work on your business, not just in your business.

3. “The Lean Startup,” by Eric Ries. Before you start your business, know what is important and what is fluff.

Building your Business

1. “Crush It,” by Gary Vanerchuk. Shows you how to use the power of the Internet and social media to grow your businesses.

2. “Blue Ocean Strategy,” by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. How to create uncontested market space and make competition irrelevant.

3. “Failing Forward,” by John C. Maxwell. This taught me how to convert past failures into future success.

Personal Development

1. “Blink,” by Malcolm Gladwell. The power of thinking without thinking.

2. ”Strength Finder,” by Tom Wrath. Discover your strengths, use them and surround yourself with others to cover the gaps.

3. “Elon Musk,” by Ashlee Vance. An inside look at a visionary, entrepreneur and billionaire.

I’d love to hear what your favorite books are and why. Drop me a line at jratkins@SomethingDifferentCompanies.com. To see the full list of recommended reading, go to http://somethingdifferentcompanies.com/resources/recommended-reading-list.

J.R. Atkins has been working with individuals, executives and small businesses since 1993 and on social media since 2008. He has a BA in marketing from Texas A&M University and an MBA from The University of Phoenix, Dallas Campus. He is an adjunct professor at Temple College and CTC.

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